What is a good vise and table to start makin flies. I saw a few on mud hole but wanted to ask people that do it and just get the thing I need. I would rather only have a few good tool than one of those kits you buy with a bunch of junk. The flies could be different!
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Bobbin, hackle pliers, whip finisher, GOOD pair of scissors for tying, hair stacker maybe. There are a enormous selection of accessories, but for starting out you need just the basics and then can add the other tools as you go. I'm sure I'm missing a couple things here.
Keep in mind what size fly you will be tying, some vises need a different jaw for bigger or smaller flies, although I believe you can do 12 to 18 on any vise, some one will correct me if I'm wrong.
I enjoy tying, but the flies I have churned out would most likely get nothin but a laugh out of a trout, but I plan to keep at it anyway.
Once you get started, be sure to post up some pics of your ties. We love pics. I think there is a sub forum for recipes for tying?
Welcome to fly tying, first we must figure out what you're fishing for that you need ties for. I see you're in the great state of Texas, bass perhaps? Do you have any fly shops near you? The vise you buy is one of if not the most important tool that will grace your tying desk, one that does not function properly will only bring frustration and a lack of want to use it. I would highly recommend that you have a look at some vises personally if at all possible. Different vises fit different hands differently, and being in front of it is the only way to know for sure. Sure you can buy a vise without holding it and it'll work great, I'm suggesting that if you can go and see them. We're also talking about the most expensive tool on your desk as well so figure out what you have/can spend on getting started and factor that in. As far as bobbins go do yourself a favor, spend a couple extra dollars and get "1" for now with a ceramic insert. Believe me you'll be happier in the long run. ( It won't nick/cut your thread like some of the metal tubed bobbins can. You can get one spool of thread tan, brown, or white and touch it with whatever color marker you want. Thread size depends on what size flies you'll be tying. Tell us that as well. Scissors get a descent pair and a junk pair for cutting wires, tinsels and the like. You can upgrade them later. Hackle pliers, there are as many kinds of hackle pliers as there are colors of thread. Again the need to know what you're fishing/tying for. Like said as well a whip finisher which is used to tie the knot that will finish your fly. This knot can be done by hand, I use a whip finisher being a carpenter the hands are to rough and always fray the thread.
Please let us know what you're going to be fishing/tying for and we can give you a much more personalized list and brands of tools.
Tools aside, once you get everything ready to go the first thing you want to do is learn to tie a half hitch knot. This will be used to secure materials as you tie your fly. Learn to control where on the hook the loop will cinch down so as not to trap unwanted parts of material down. The pinch wrap is also something to practice and get a handle on before you start to tie a whole fly. Pinch wraps control where and how the material will be secured on the hook. Proper thread tension is a must for a properly tied fly to last for any amount of time. That's another thing, get whatever thread you're going to use to tie with secured on the hook, very slowly pull on the thread until it breaks. That is the breaking strength of that thread, repeat this until you get a feel for what tension will break it and stay just this side of it. Nothing will make you more upset than your thread breaking at the wrong time, well maybe your hook moving on you in the vise could trump that.Take it one fly at a time don't move on to something else until you get a handle on what you're tying now. Too many different things at once tend to get confusing and there's plenty of that as it is. I wish you well with your new found pastime. Good tying to you, Jack
I am close to New Mexico so we will go after browns and rainbows. But also bass and crappie. I have buddies back home with lighted piers on the coast to catch reds and trout. I am a left handed tyrer. What are good scissors, and shops to order stuff. We actually have a orvis store in Lubbock we are really close to the mtns and hill country of Texas!
Unless you have a bunch of money to drop on tying materials you might be best off deciding which species to target first. Although some materials will overlap. Since you're looking to tie from bass size to trout & crappie size flies make sure the vise you get will accommodate that range. For the table you'll tie on a nice light colored top, matt finish would easiest on the eyes this way your fly will stand out better. Short of that you can use a piece of paper or something of that nature.
I tie on a Peak vise, love it. Have had it for years now and its absolutely bullet proof. As far as tools go, go to that Orvis store and pick them up. Orvis sells nice quality tools and really stands behind all their products. Cant go wrong there. There are lots of good vises out there, the Peak is just a suggestion. Whether you want to dive in with a $150 vise is up to you. Whichever road you take, go with a reputable brand. Renzetti, Peak, Dynaking, HMH, Anvil and so on. You'll be glad you did later. a tying vise is an investment and you want it to last. Plus the bigger names have accessories available that you may want to add later.
Location: beside the AuSable River in northern Michigan
Re: Just starting out
+1 on buying a good vise right out of the gate! It's a sound investment in your fly-tying future, and one that will keep the whole tying journey enjoyable in the long run. I'm a longtime HMH fan, as well as any of the Dyna-King line-up and the Peak vises...
+1 as well on buying good tools, materials, hooks etc. They all will only enhance your fly-tying hours at the vise, and your final "end product..."
Some of this depends on what you can afford to spend. Renzetti makes one of the better vices under $100 ($99.95) with their Apprentice vice. If you can afford to spend more, likely something from their Traveler series would be fine at around $160 maybe. This is what I tie with. Peak has been a popular brand on this forum for some time. While I have no insight on Peak, likely something in the same $100-160 price range would also work. These, at least the $160 price point, are rotary vices. You could spend up to $200 if you choose. I don't think you'll need to though. The vices I've mentioned are generally good enough to do what you need and last a long time.
If the above is too expensive to start out, Bass Pro and Cabelas sell some cheap vices that will do the trick for a period of time with costs of $15-20. Bass Pro also sells a cheap base if you can't use a clamp.
1. Scissors: one pair of good scissors for thread, one for feathers stems and man made materials.
2. A bobbin with a ceramic insert to prevent breaking your thread
3. one bodkin (very useful tool)
4. one bobbin threader (really helps get thread past the ceramic inserts)
5. whip finisher
This is enough to get you started. You may need more tools depending on what you decide to tie. Dr. Slick has good tools and an easy to follow website. They are widely available. Orvis or your local fly shop could also be good places to shop.